Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Weekly Press Conference
Oct. 12, 2009
On what he remembers about the play when he was hit on the sideline:
'What do I remember? I was looking down the field, because we were running a route on the other side of the field, and I was looking to see what was happening with the route. I saw a couple of guys coming at me, and me being the great athlete that I am, I wasn't able to get out of the way.'
On what he takes from the Washington State game:
'Well, if we turn it over like that again, we will not beat anybody. That is ridiculous. Ball security is job security. That is what we try to tell our players. To have three interceptions, to have a high snap, to fumble it twice; you cannot beat anybody doing that. We were fortunate that we played so good on defense that every time we turned it over, we got it back or they turned it over. I think they turned it over four times. We would not beat any of the opponents that we have ahead of us turning it over like that. We have not been doing that, hopefully it is a learning process. Like for Gerell [Robinson], he is trying to make something happen. He made a great catch and broke a couple tackles, but hopefully he learned from that. When you are in shotgun as much as we are, having bad snaps and all, you just cannot do it. It is inexcusable and hopefully it does not happen again. You cannot win games like that.'
On the team's offense:
'I think the scheme is good, it is not the scheme. You have to execute it. We move the ball pretty well, we have had a lot of opportunities, and we have run the football with success most of the time. We do not have everything in and there are maybe some things that we will add. I like what we are doing. I really like what we are doing, and we will just keep getting better at it.'
On ASU's success in run defense:
'Our front seven is playing really well, our down four in particular. We are rotating some guys through there. Linebackers are playing very well, and when we have [Ryan] McFoy and [Jarrell] Holman in there at safety, they are able to help. We played good against the run. Even in our loss at Georgia and here against Oregon State, we played pretty good against the run. The thing that has hurt us a little bit defensively is that we have given up some big plays. That is probably what has hurt us more than anything. We are playing the run. We will have to play really well this week against Washington. They are playing really well offensively. Jake Locker, to me, is totally different. He is very efficient. He's throwing it well and can run the football. Their receivers and offensive front are playing better, but they still run him [Locker] quite a bit. The point I am making is, when you have a guy that athletic, you have to really play the run extremely well.'
On Jake Locker:
'He has improved a lot, and he is a lot more accurate. [Steve] Sarkisian has done a good job, and [Doug] Nussmeier, the quarterbacks coach. They have done a good job of working with him on his fundamentals. His throwing motion is different. and the bottom line is that he is a lot more accurate. When you have a guy that big, you have a big-time arm. The biggest improvement is how accurate he is when he throws it. He is throwing the deep ball way better. He is a way better quarterback than he was two years ago. We did not see him last year because he was hurt. I think the people in the NFL rate him as one of the top in the country, and that shows you how good he is and how much he has improved.'
On the differences for Washington this year:
'They are totally different. They are playing with a lot of energy and a lot of enthusiasm. They believe they can win. Dan Cozzetto has done a nice job with their offensive line. Offensively, they have people to help Jake, and the receivers are playing real well. [Chris] Polk, their running back, is too. It is not just Jake now. They have some other people, but they are playing with a lot of enthusiasm. Defensively, Nick Holt and those guys have done a nice job. They are putting their personnel in the right position. Not only are they a greatly improved football team, but they are a football team that everybody in this league has to deal with. You don't beat USC unless you are doing pretty well. They beat Arizona at home, and they went back to Notre Dame and probably should have won that game. If you look at programs that have improved in the last six months, you would have to look at their program as the best in the country. They are totally different than the first two years that I was here.'
On Danny Sullivan's interceptions against Washington State:
'He made some throws into coverage that he has not made. One of the interceptions was a great play by the defensive player. There were a couple that were thrown into coverage, which he has not done because he has dumped it off and done things like that. In spending time with Danny and Brock yesterday, looking at the tapes, he understands his mistakes. It's not that he is not going to throw another interception the rest of the year, but I do not think it will be quite like it was on Saturday.'
On Thomas Weber's injury status:
'He will not kick this week. Hopefully we can get him back in a couple of weeks. We had one other injury; Stanley Malamala broke his jaw against Washington State. He is going to be out for six weeks. They have to put a plate in it and wire it today. That is bad news for us and for Stanley.'
On Kerry Taylor's status:
'Kerry had a hamstring [injury] Saturday, and probably if we had really needed him to play, he could have. It was really bothering him and he didn't practice. He also had the flu early in the week and got dehydrated and his hamstring cramped up.'
On Brock Osweiler:
'Brock did a good job in the three series that he was in. Unfortunately, we moved the football down there pretty good and then fumbled on the snap. He missed one throw there on third down, but his presence out there and the things that he did, I thought he did a very good job. The situation this week, just to answer the question so that it will not be asked the rest of the week, is that he will play, but I am not sure when. It is going to be the feel of the game, how things are going. I have trouble, personally, saying a guy is going in at the third series of the game, because if you have momentum going, you are moving the football extremely well, and now all of a sudden the third series comes up and you are going to make a change in quarterback. That just does not make sense to me, but he will play Saturday.'
On the pass rush against Washington State:
'We rushed the passer really well. Our front four did an extremely good job, but Washington State's beat up in the offensive front. I am not taking anything away from the sacks that we had, by any means, but it is relative. 12 sacks is a lot of sacks, and that is hard against air sometimes. Our front four played really well. Our ends, James Brooks, I thought jumped out and got the feel of it. Dexter [Davis] finally got a sack, and our tackles pushed the pocket pretty well. We got a lot of them when they were keeping five in and keeping their back in, and then the second half they went to keeping seven guys in and we did not get as many. We got to them pretty good and it was a great effort.'
On the impact Cozzetto has had on Washington:
'They are a lot tougher, and they are a lot more physical. That is what he is all about. They are just playing harder and he has done a helluva job with them. There is some talent there too. There has been some talent there, believe me. They have them going in the right direction. Their receivers are playing really well, their tight end, who was pretty heavily recruited, is there and is a sophomore now, and defensively, [Desmond] Trufant is playing really well, the true freshman. They are just playing better and Nick [Holt] does a nice job defensively. They are playing hard, but the thing about Locker is, if you are not in your right rush lanes, he will turn and run. He made a run the other day against Arizona, a 50-some yard run that was one of the most amazing runs I have ever seen. They blitzed him, and they had a sack, but he broke three tackles and went 59 yards for a touchdown. Once he gets in the secondary, you are not catching him. You are not catching that guy.'